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Need a Creative DR solution

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  • Need a Creative DR solution

    The Scenerio:
    In our domain we have user accounts with mailboxes, that are used as a 'job(role) mailbox'. This users are not allow to login.
    In addition we have user accounts without mailboxes. Each user is a member of a specific group - and this group has full access to the matching role mailbox.
    When the users create their profile, they enter the name of the role mailbox.
    Current Exchange server version: 2003

    I need to plan a Disaster recovery which allows me to make a backup mailbox for each role mailbox in another site, and it should be active so if we have a problem in a specific role mailbox, we can just move the user to work with the role mailbox in the other site. Yet, the one of the mailbox should not be seen in the GAL,
    Both mailboxes must have the same incoming mails, and the transition between the mailboxes must be as fast as possible.
    We have no problem to upgrade our exchange to 2007, if necessary.

    Thanks in advance,

  • #2
    Re: Need a Creative DR solution

    I think you would need to upgrade to Exchange 2010 and look into some of the DAG options. From (the little!) research I've done the Exchange 2007 failover options for different AD sites are manual rather than automatic. From what I've read on 2010 you can cluster all of the different roles over different sites, and also the roles don't need to be split, a server can be Mailbox/Hub Transport/Client Access or a combination of them.

    Exchange 2003 definitely isn't an option from what you describe. It is possible to have an Exchange 2003 cluster in different sites, but it is a PITA to setup and requires a lot of management to work well. We set one up using a VPN bridge (Exchange 2003 clustering requires all nodes in the same subnet, hence the bridge) and replicate the data using DoubleTake GeoCluster. Trouble is, it's fragile due to the unreliable connection. It was the only viable option when we set it up, and we're very much looking forward to tearing it down.

    This article from is well worth a read.
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